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    Posted October 15, 2012 by
    mjdishler

    High School Pep Rally's Racist Display

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mjdishler, a graduate of Waverly High School in New York, was not at the pep rally but heard about the incident from friends. This photo was shared on Facebook by a student at the school. The photo shows two white students wearing face makeup to appear black and re-enacting a 2009 incident in which singer Chris Brown beat his then-girlfriend Rihanna. The students performed the skit at the high school's pep rally Friday as part of the annual competition for the title of "Mr. Waverly," according to TheDailyReview.com.

    Read more in this story on CNN.com.

    Since the iReporter posted the report on Monday, Waverly Central School District Superintendent Joseph Yelich told local media that he has received several complaints about the skit, which school officials pre-approved.

    "The Waverly School District is committed to creating a positive atmosphere through our activities," Yelich said in a statement. "I will be working with our building administrators, our staff and our students to examine our current activities and develop future activities consistent with our commitment."

    "Ultimately, our administrators are going to need to meet with the whole student body to set clear expectations for our behavior and the impact it has on all people," he said.

    Meanwhile, several current Waverly students and others have come to the defense of the school and the students involved. Ryan Bronson, a 19-year-old graduate who was at the pep rally on Friday, said the crowd was laughing and 'it’s complete bogus that people were offended by it.' He made a rap in response to the controversy.

    Last year at the pep rally, a student dressed up as Tiger Woods for the Mr. Waverly skit, according to a commenter on this iReport. 'I don't personally know who was acting out the part of Tiger, but he was in no way making fun of black people. He was actually dressed in black dress pants, a Nike shirt and a Nike hat. Exactly how you would see Tiger dressed on the golf course. These are just kids acting out real celebrity skits.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    At the most resent Pep Rally for Waverly High School, located in Waverly NY, the usual fanfare of cheering for the home team to get them ready was in full swing. As the rally progressed you had your usual cheers and rally cries for the fall sports teams and the football team. It seemed to have done well, with Waverly defeating their opponent 70-21. But what happened at that pep rally went much farther than simple cheers. Three white students were to perform a skit in black face, depicting Chris Brown and Rihanna most notibly. In this skit they would display acts of domestic violence as satire to an audience that included not only students but parents, faculty, and various members of the media and community leaders. None of them stopped the skit. Now former students of Waverly High School are questioning how this was allowed to happen." I think it's unconscionable that such blatant racism has been tacitly approved two years in a row," says Waverly alumni and Yale graduate Vlad Chituc. "The administration should be creating an environment where minorities are welcome, not the butts of racist jokes that make light of domestic violence."
    "I think it's unconscionable that such blatant racism has been tacitly approved of two years in a row. The administration should be creating an environment where minorities are welcome, not the butts of racist jokes that make light of domestic violence."
    Fellow former Waverly student Hannah Van Wie-Desisti shared sentiments with her former schoolmate:
    "I used to be so proud of where I came from. Not so much now due to the recent incident. I found it unfathomable that the faculty would not only approve this idea for the skit in the first place, but allow it to go on during the pep rally. I honestly don't believe that the students meant to offend, but were just ill informed of how offending their skit actually was. The staff should have stopped it before it even started. By acting like the skit was acceptable, they are teaching their students that racism is okay and that abuse is humorous. The whole thing outraged me and made me so disappointed in the school that I was once loved."
    The offensive nature of what took place is made even more concerning know that in order for a skit to take place at the rally it had to be OK'ed by the administration of the school. A comment from the school district was not available at this time.

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